Snooki throws everything within reach at The Situation, and then embarks on an old-fashioned Tuscany wine-bender.

By Darren Franich
Updated October 07, 2011 at 06:10 AM EDT
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Jersey Shore

S4 E10
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Here’s the plot outline for every Raymond Carver short story: Drunk people are sad, so they drink more, which makes them sadder. Does that sound like every episode of Jersey Shore? Well, kind of, except that the Jersey Shore cast members have ridiculous expansive vocabularies and caveman hormones, and Raymond Carver characters mostly speak in passive, empty monosyllabic phrases. Basically, if the cast of The Hills drank as much as the cast of Jersey Shore, the result would be a Raymond Carver short story. (Except keep in mind that Carver was writing in the ’70s, when people still felt things, and the ’80s, when people still tried to feel things Life used to be much less complicated before the world ended.)

Last night’s episode, however, pretty much followed the Carver story structure. Snooki woke up in Vinny’s bed with a nasty hangover and a vague sense that something terrible just happened. So she took friendly J-Woww out for some mimosas, just to even out her head a little bit. Snooki said, “Wah wah, Jionni, wah wah,” and J-Woww tried her best to look understanding. J-Woww: “You’ve got to move on.” Snooki ordered another mimosa and daydreamed about Jionni.

Meanwhile, back at the House of Poor Decisions, The Situation continued his season-long descent into paranoia and self-destruction. Like all great dictators who have spent a lifetime chasing away anyone who ever loved them, the Situation has found himself trapped behind the walls of his castle. He is suspicious of everyone. As he should be. Vinny has Pauly; Snooki has J-Woww; Ronnie has Sammi, unfortunately; Deena has the mad hope that she can steal Snooki’s identity and also convince Pauly to love her. Who does Sitch have?

As near as I can figure, Uncle Sitch’s only friend in the world is a heretofore-unseen person known as “The Unit.” (Whenever Mike talks about hanging out with “My boy Unit,” I always picture him strolling down the boardwalk hollering at ladies with an astromech droid.) Last night, Sitch told Ronnie that he had commanded his boy Unit to tell Jionni everything — the whole story about how Snooki hooked up with him. Ronnie told Sammi, and Sammi told Snooki. The Situation acted as if he had discovered something incredible: “There, I proved! Ronnie tells Sammi anything! My mad experiment has succeeded!”

In one respect, though, the experiment failed. Or maybe Sitch was trying to get Snooki to go into a Wolverine-style berserker rage and throw the entire Shore villa in his face. “F— you! F— you! F— you!” screamed Shnookums! She threw everything at him: Bottles, glasswear, half-empty cans of diet soda, Ronnie’s last Xenadrine bottle. She threw a green turtle shell at him, and he dodged it. She threw a red turtle shell at him, which he couldn’t dodge — as we all know, red turtle shells come with a heat-seeking capability — but Uncle Sitch had Star Power, so his health was not affected.

“This was definitely my most well-thought-out evil plan,” said Sitch. “But the prank I pulled was a necessary evil.” Keep in mind, people, this man is a millionaire, so if he wanted to, he could purchase his own island and hunt Man for sport.

NEXT: Snooki fights J-Woww, which is sad, kind of like when The Thing fights Mr. Fantastic. Also, your recapper apologetically announces a ban on pop culture references for the rest of the recap.Sensing that things were reaching a boiling point, the house decided it was time to separate the boys from the girls. The lads set off for a journey to Vinny’s ancestral home on the island of Sicily. The girls set off for a wine-drunk bus-trip around Tuscany. The stage was set for a quiet Italian afternoon

Italy is really one of the most fascinating countries in the world. In America, we associate the country with light, happy things. Fine wine, big food, beautiful countrysides, retirees living under Tuscan suns. Of course, in reality, Italy has been the sight of some of the most brutal Darwinian duels in human history. The streets of every great Italian city are built on generations of bloodshed. The political system has been corrupt since before the birth of Christ. (Mind you, everything I’m saying applies to most countries that aren’t America.)

So, in a way, the girls’ trip to Tuscany made perfect sense. “We look so sophisticated and classy!” said Deena. “FART,” agreed Snooki. They visited one of the oldest castles in Italy, which included a 900-year-old wine cellar. “Is it haunted?” asked Shnookums. “Ooohh, I’m scared!” Snooki and Deena ran through the wine cellar scaring each other. J-Woww tried to chase after them, like a good mother. Sammi walked into a dark corner of the castle and communed with the dead spirits of her ancestors, absorbing their power and their madness. Then everyone went into the dining room for some wine.

The sommelier/tour guide tried to give them some historical context. “The castle was bombed during World War II,” she said. “Cool history, wooo!” Snooki said sarcastically. “Like, I’m not into geography anymore. I just want wine! BURP!” So, within the walls of a castle that was already centuries old when a guy named Columbus (“The dude whose name sounds like where cocaine comes from”) sailed across the Atlantic (“The big blue thing that isn’t next to California”) to discover America (“The place you live right now, where Miley Cyrus was invented”), Snooki decided to talk about how much she missed her douchebag ex-boyfriend. The juxtaposition was so jarring, you had to laugh a little.

But much less funny was what came next: J-Woww decided to give it to Snooki straight. “If you loved him, you wouldn’t have slept with Vinny.” Snooki moaned and groaned, but J-Woww held firm. “She’s being the worst best friend this whole time!” she complained. She became passive-aggressive. She poured herself some more wine. She announced that she was horny. She farted. She was, to quote Ronnie, in rare form.

She told J-Woww: “You’re supposed to sugarcoat it to make me happy!” J-Woww asked her, “Do you want my opinion, or do you want the truth?” Truly, a fine question for our infotainment era! The question clearly hurt Snooki’s brain, so she ran away.

Now, one angle on this is to say that Snooki was being unreasonable and unbearably selfish. But you could also argue that J-Woww was being unusually harsh, given that Snooki had been on kind of an emotional whirlwind for the last couple days. Also, by the way, do I need to point out that they were bothabsolutely flat-out pale-faced stumbly-wumbly legless s—house drunk? This is why college is only allowed to last four years.

NEXT: Jionni gives Snooki a second chance, which is instantly revoked.J-Woww did finally get through to Snooki, though. The two friends apologized to each other. Then Snooki called her dad, who informed her that Jionni had changed his Facebook status to “Single,” which thanks Mr. Snooki for being the village Facebook gossip. Snooki called Jionni, and her monologue was the weirdest combination of anger, betrayal, sadness, apology, confession:

“Why did you change your Facebook status! I hate you! I’m so sorry, I f—ing f–ed up. I hate myself. I’m so pissed at you. Also, I have to tell you something really bad, and then you’re never gonna talk to me again. [cries] I ended up in Vinny’s bed. We didn’t have sex.”

Jionni did not respond particularly well to the news: “Tell Vinny, when I see him, he’s dead!” (Wouldn’t that be a weird message to find on the fridge when you got home from a trip to Sicily? “Vinny: Some munchkin named Genie wants to kill you.”) But when Snooki called back, Jionni relented. “I’ll give you another chance. Just don’t f— me over.” Happy Shnookums Yay Hooray! She went and hugged J-Woww. “Jionni and I are back together!” she exclaimed. “Eehhhh yaayyyy ehhhh” J-Woww responded, trying to be supportive. Snooki poured herself some beer.

Vinny returned from Sicily — which, by the way, the boys went to Sicily and met Vinny’s fifty thousand cousins and watched the sun set, great TV — and was instantly assaulted by Snooki, who wanted to clear some things up. Specifically, “Did we smush?” Vinny was surprised: “I asked if you were drunk. And you said no.” Snooki’s expression was unreadable, largely because she was wearing massive virtual-reality sunglasses. So Vinny made it as clear as possible for her: “My p—- was cuddling with your v—–.” And now that vision is in your head and you can never get it out, inception!

So Snooki called Jionni back. “Hey, boyfriend,” she said, “Remember when I told you that Vinny and I didn’t have sex? Well…we had sex.”

Viewers, this has been a strange season of Jersey Shore. The main plotline of this Florentine season has been focused on the weird romantic/skeezeball triangle between Sitch, Snooki, and Jionni. To me, the deeper questions here are: Does Snooki really want to be in a relationship, which implies growing up? Or does she want to stay her wild, crazy self? And, in turn, can The Situation possibly find his way back from the abyss of paranoia? Or is he doomed to scaring away the last few people who can still put up with him? Hey, we can all be happy about one thing: There hasn’t been Sammi/Ronnie drama in weeks.

Follow Darren on Twitter: @EWDarrenFranich

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Jersey Shore

Follow Snooki, the Situation, Pauly, Ronnie, Sammi, Jwoww, Vinny, and Deena as they party, smush, and GTL
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